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Last Updated: Sunday, 12 June, 2005, 02:01 GMT 03:01 UK
Blockades in Bolivia city removed
By Elliott Gotkine
BBC News, La Paz

Bolivians carrying gas bottles
People in La Paz could finally buy gas bottles after weeks of shortages
The last blockades remaining around Bolivia's main city, La Paz, have been lifted, allowing fuel into the city for the first time in weeks.

The move follows a truce from indigenous Indian protesters ahead of a meeting on Sunday with the new President, Eduardo Rodriguez.

Mr Rodriguez took office on Thursday night following weeks of unrest and the resignation of President Carlos Mesa.

Mr Rodriguez will have to convene new presidential elections.

After weeks of being strangled by blockades and protests, La Paz is at last being allowed to breathe again.

Bulldozers removed the last remaining barricades, and fuel transporters with police escorts trundled down the mountains to the city for the first time in almost a month.

'Temporary truce'

Residents of the slum city of El Alto adjoining the capital were the last to end their protests.

They say their main demands for the nationalisation of Bolivia's rich gas reserves and constitutional reform have yet to be met.

And they warn that without progress on these issues, their truce will only be temporary.

Other protest groups - including Indian peasant farmers and miners - have been more conciliatory.

Roadblocks across much of Bolivia were lifted on Friday.

And so long as President Rodriguez calls new elections promptly, most protesters - for now at least - will be satisfied.

See the barricades coming down in Bolivia

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